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Taylor-made for Oklahoma

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Attention Getter

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Red River Tradition

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No Doubt About It

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Boomer Bio: Ronnell Lewis

Norman Bound

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Jay Norvell Q&A

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Adrian Taylor doing just fine

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Best of The Red River Rivalry

Bradford To Start Against Baylor

Facebook & Football

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Keith Jackson Appearing this Friday in Norman

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Tisdale and Griffin

Wayman Tisdale Dies

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The Wait Is Over

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Make Room For Sam

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Bradford Wins Heisman

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Sooners Headed To KC For Big 12 Title Game

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Gerald McCoy Q&A

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Boomer Bio: Mossis Madu

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Big Dreams

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Manny Being Manny

The Big Easy

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On The Rise

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Venables Verbatim

Sooner Spectator & Teaming Up

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Reggie Smith Q&A

Malcolm Over The Middle

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Thompson & Alexander To Sign Autographs



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OU will miss Sampson

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Gray, OU prep for The Dance

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Haskell remains a lost treasure

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Taylor Made

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McCoy becomes a Sooner

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Strong Willed

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Stoops is not leaving OU

Sooners down Ducks in Holiday Bowl

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Next Stop Division I

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Sooners Roll Past K-State

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2005 Season Preview Issue Available Now!!

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OU's Weekly Sports Report

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Breaking Down The Offense

Spring football eases pain

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Reggie Smith Q&A
OU's All-America candidate talks about 2007 season

If Reggie Smith’s first two seasons at Oklahoma are a good barometer for what his next two seasons are going to be like, there is no doubt he will end his career as one of the best all-around players to come through Norman in recent memory.

Last season alone, the 6-foot-1, 197-pound Edmond product earned first team All-Big 12 honors while splitting time between cornerback and strong safety. He was also an honorable mention all-conference pick as a return specialist, taking one punt back for a touchdown and setting up a potential game-winning field goal with a 55-yard kick return against Oregon.

Smith finished his sophomore campaign with 40 tackles, a fumble recovery and three interceptions — including one he returned for a TD against Baylor. Oh, and Smith caught a pass, too, from OU quarterback Paul Thompson.

Whatever his team needs him to do, wherever they ask him to play — Smith is willing to roll up his sleeves and get the job done.

Sooner Spectator tracked Smith down after a recent spring practice session to get his thoughts on a variety of subjects, including the 2007 OU defense, spring football and the excitement of returning kicks.

Sooner Spectator: How important is spring practice?

Reggie Smith: I believe it’s real important because it gives a team a chance to knock off some of the rust from the offseason and work on getting ready for the fall. After sitting out a couple of months, this gives us a chance to get our legs back under us and lets the coaches evaluate the players in different situations.

SS: What are your personal goals during the offseason and particularly the spring?

Smith: Honestly, just trying to get better in every aspect of the game. I’m working on being a more physical player whether I’m at corner or safety. You do a lot of learning during the spring.

SS: With two seasons as a starter under your belt, how big a role as a leader do you feel you have to take on with this defense, especially considering it lost a handful of key guys?

Smith: During the spring, you try to help the younger guys as much as possible. They are going to ask you questions and you try to let them know what is going on. I’m really not that much of a vocal leader — my deal is to make plays and do my thing and hopefully have everyone else feed off of that. We’ve got guys who are more vocal out there, like Lewis Baker or someone like that. I try to lead by example.

SS: With the defense losing some veteran starters, do you see the pieces out here that can step up and fill those spots?

Smith: We’ve got some good new guys and we’ve got some guys who have been waiting for their chance to step up and play. Guys like Lewis Baker and Curtis (Lofton) have good experience at linebacker, and it’s good to see Ryan Reynolds back. He’s a guy who would have had a chance to do some good things last season, but he got hurt. The defensive line has a chance to be pretty good. We’ve got some older guys back there and then someone like Gerald McCoy who brings a lot of athleticism to his position. Plus, we’ve got basically the whole secondary coming back, so I see everything coming together. We’ve just got to make the most of each practice during the spring and then carry that over to the summer and fall.

SS: Do you have a preference where you play in the secondary?

Smith: Honestly, it doesn’t matter as long as I’m on the field contributing somewhere. Wherever they need me, I’ll be there. I think that’s the approach you’ve got to take. If they need me to play safety, that’s where I’ll be. I never wanted to play cornerback when I was in high school or when I first came here, but I found out I liked it more than I thought I would.

SS: How is the secondary as a whole coming together?

Smith: We’ve been a little rusty this spring, but we’ll be all right. We’ve got everyone back from last season and once we get everyone into the positions where they feel they are going to play best, I believe it will all come together. One real positive is our depth back there. We’ve got a lot of guys who are capable of playing at this level and that’s important for any defense.

SS: How do you evaluate your career at OU to this point?

Smith: It’s been good, but maybe not quite up to what I expect of myself, because I always set my goals very high. I’m still learning some things and always trying to improve. Right now, it looks like I’m going to start out at cornerback and my focus is to be the best I can be at that position. My first two years here gave me something to build on and that’s what I’m trying to do this spring and on into this coming season.

SS: What about your job as a kick and punt returner?

Smith: I always like to get my hands on the ball. I’ve played on the offensive side of the ball for most of my life, so getting the chance to run back kicks is something I really enjoy. Last year was a like a roller coaster at times with some ups and downs. But it was a learning experience where I did some good things at times, and hopefully that will help me this season. I feel my confidence has improved when I’m out there and that’s always a key. I’m looking forward to getting more opportunities this coming season, and hopefully taking advantage of them.

SS: If everything falls into place this fall, how good can this defense be?

Smith: I think we can be really good. As long as we get our linebackers to pick up some of the slack leftover when Rufus (Alexander) and Zach (Latimer) left, we’ve got a lot of experience at almost every other position. That’s always a key.

(Note: This interview appears in the April-May 2007 issue of Sooner Spectator. To subscribe, call toll free 1-888-335-4385)